World Wide Wine Web
I recently wrote a story for Time magazine recommending several wine websites (“How to Choose the Right Wine”). To complement that article, I’m continuing the recommendations here, as well as adding information about those in the Time story. And I’ve included one site that offers only links. So pour yourself a glass of wine and read on! There’s so much to be learned and so many interesting sites to explore.
Please note: The opening information in quotes is how the site describes itself, which is often fairly accurate. While most of these sites are free, a few require subscriptions and some are part fee, part free.
Top Wine Critics Online
erobertparker.com, “The independent consumer’s guide to fine wines” The online home of the world’s most influential wine critic/reviewer and his associates. Parker’s so powerful that wines are crafted to please his palate; the site complements the “Wine Advocate,” his print newsletter
jancisrobinson.com, “Fine writing on fine wines”; “very personal, obsessively updated, completely independent source of news, views and opinion on fine wine ...” Robinson is a prominent British critic, author of many award-winning books, including The World Atlas of Wine and Tasting Pleasure, and the wine correspondent for the Financial Times. She’s been called the First Lady of Wine and the wine writer’s wine writer. Free content includes “For beginners,” “Free for all,” “Wines of the week,” good links and travel tips; the fee section includes her tasting notes, “Don’t quote me” (things she wouldn’t say on print pages), and the mammoth reference work she edited, The Oxford Companion to Wine, and more (See Time story for more information)
wineaccess.com/expert/tanzer/ Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar “The consumer’s passport to fine wine” Although Tanzer isn’t nearly as well known as Parker, he’s very well respected and less controversial. He wrote Food & Wine Magazine’s Official Wine Guide (1998 and 1999 editions), as well as for Food & Wine and Forbes magazines. This site supplements his bimonthly print publication
wineloverspage.com, “oldest, largest and most popular independent wine-appreciation site on the World Wide Web” Fans on all seven continents participate in this online community. They read it for its down-to-earth, comprehensive coverage of wine, right down to wine-country weather, and use it for its “talk” of all kinds–forums, chats, discussion groups. (See Time story for more information)
nataliemaclean.com, “Nat Decants,” Wine picks, articles and humor from the multi-award-winning Canadian writer and accredited sommelier Natalie MacLean. Includes a comprehensive food-and-wine matcher, regular podcasts, glossary of wine terms, even food-and-wine jobs and much more. (Her new book, Red, White and Drunk All Over, has been described as “A Year in Provence meets Kitchen Confidential then goes Sideways.”)
Wine Magazines With Websites
winespectator.com, “the most comprehensive wine website in the world” The Wine Spectator and Parker are big movers of prestigious wines in the US. Here you’ll find more than 163,000 wine ratings, news, commentary, opinion, features, food-and-wine matching, glossary, etc.
wineandspiritsmagazine.com, “The practical guide to wine,” links to some stories in the current issue, plus good values, the year’s best, wines of the week; can sign up for free monthly newsletter
winemag.com, Online complement to The Wine Enthusiast magazine, wine and distilled-spirits ratings and reviews, news stories updated daily, breaking news section, vintage chart, buying guide, some content from current and archived print magazine
decanter.com, “the route to all good wine” The most influential international (it’s British) wine magazine. Helpful vintage guide, also news, features, recommendations, education, etc.
winereviewonline.com, “the best in wine evaluation, education and commentary” with an “all-star cast of renowned and influential wine journalists.” Their description is a pretty good one. Writers include Michael Franz, Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy, among others. Content changes weekly.
sfgate.com, The San Francisco Chronicle’s excellent wine coverage, winner of the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Newspaper Section
americangoldmedalwines.com Features winners of the 20 most influential regional, national and international competitions; search by grape/variety, name of winery
There are many state and country sites; here are three good ones that cover the US:
allamericanwineries.com, “a winery and vineyard guide by state for wine lovers in the USA.” Finds producers in every state.
Travelenvoy.com: “directories to the world’s major wine regions, plus tasting notes and wine reviews” Excellent directory of US wineries.
appellationamerica.com, “building appellation consciousness in North America,” “comprehensive online portal providing access to every winery, grape varietal and appellation on the North American continent.” Varietal Character Index includes illustrations that personify 141 grapes, with both flowery and serious descriptions; excellent links.
and a couple for French and Italian wines:
Compare Prices, Find Obscure Bottles
wine-searcher.com, “The resource for locating and pricing wines,” The Recommended Wines section includes favorite wines of Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, the San Francisco Chronicle, Robin Garr’s top values, winners of 11 wine competitions, as well as organic and kosher wines and more. (See Time story for more information)
winezap.com, “find, price and compare wines” (See Time story for more information